This design uses Kreg pocket screws to build the basic 3/4" plywood box. There are only 2 things I don't like on this design:
1. The door frame just sits in a rectangular pocket. In the Midwest, Illinois, we get driving rains and snows, which over the years will cause moisture to get to the books inside.
I plan to modify the design and use a kitchen cabinet type over-lapping door to the frame. This will reduce the chances of moisture getting inside. I found some cabinet hinges at ACE hardware, that allow for a 3/8" overlap on the door to the opening.
I made a 3/8x3/8" rabbet on the outside edges of all 4 boards. I used Kreg pocket screws to hold the rails and stiles together.
2. The roof design is just cedar pieces butted together. On a regular cedar wood shingle roof, at least 2 layers of cedar are used, with the top layer overlapping the 1st layer.
I plan on trying to overlap the roof with 2 layers.
The plan calls for 1 whole sheet of 3/4" plywood per lending library. I just got 1 sheet to see how far it would go. I do have some scrap plywood in inventory that I can use on this project.
I found acrylic sheeting at Lowes for the clear plastic window.
Here is my initial cutting plan for the sheet of 3/4" plywood.
3/4" exterior plywood
18x24 acrylic clear plastic for door
-6 ft dog eared cedar pickets for roof
I left the plastic film on the sheet, marked it with a red sharpy, and sawed it ok on the band saw.
I cut the groove to hold this plastic sheet using 1 pass on the table saw.
I posted this project on our local city facebook page, and the ladies really loved this project. The local library helped to stock both little libraries full of children's books.
One park has a long reputation for vandalism. It will be interesting to see if the mini lending library in that park gets vandalized. The box is sturdy enough, that you can beat it with a baseball bat, and you will just hurt the bat! However, they could rip the door right off in the box, in which case a new door would have to be fabricated.
NOTE: It only took 3 weeks for the kids at Marsh Park to throw rocks and break the plastic in the door. I replaced it with a solid wood panel.
Apparently, the kids hung on the door, causing the frame on the hinge side to split. I repaired the door, and beefed it up with steel right angles. This was at North Park.
The door in North Park got broken again. I decided to design the strongest wood door that I know how to build. The changes I made were:
-increased the rail and stile width to 3 inches
-switched from cedar to pine. I probably should have used pressure-treated, and I can change it if the pine does not hold up long enough
-went to glued mortise and tenon joints versus Kreg pocket screws
-use 1/4" dowel and draw bore method for tightening and strengthening each mortise and tenon joint
-changed the way I made the plastic panel removable. Used screwed on trim to hold it versus requiring the top stile to be removable
The door came apart at Marsh Park. It was the original cedar wood design, and I had beefed it up with steel angles and screws. Kids must have hung and swung on that door.
At North Park, for the fix, I tried a mortise and tenon solution, with drawpins to draw up the joints. For Marsh Park, I decided to try a 3/4" plywood frame. I had a scrap left to use.
I thought I had an extra sheet of plastic, but I must have used it up on some project. Rather than go to Bloomington, 35 miles away to Lowes, I called our local Fairbury Alexander's lumber yard, and they had it. I will go ahead and make up a painted Luan plywood panel, just in case the kids break out the plastic again.